Grammar schools: Julia Hartley-Brewer says elitism is a great thing as NUT member says all schools should be comps

Julia Hartley-Brewer defends elitism in clash with NUT member over grammar school plans

The clash comes ahead of the budget announcement on Wednesday

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Julia Hartley-Brewer clashed with a member of the National Union of Teachers over grammar schools this morning, saying elitism is a good and necessary thing.

Our presenter told Jerry Glazier he was talking "nonsense" and "claptrap" in a heated debate, during which the interviewee said all grammar schools should be abolished.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce a huge new tranche of funding for free schools in tomorrow's budget, with many of the new schools set to become grammars once Theresa May lifts the ban on new selective learning centres.

Glazier said this will simply prioritise a minority of kids, and deny many children the chance to advance.

He also said that the NUT's official policy stipulates that all schools should be comprehensive - and those schools which are already grammars should be converted to the non-selective model.

Julia, however, said that life is fundamentally elitist - if it weren't, she could compete in the Olympics. Furthermore, she argued, we need elitism in life, otherwise we wouldn't have the best possible people working in key industries such as medicine.

She added that a selective state education system is better than the current model, whereby "we choose children based on their parent's faith [or] their parent's income [or] a lottery."

Listen above.